chemistry

Open Chemistry project upholds mission of unorganization, The Blue Obelisk

to compete or collaborate

Chemistry is not the most open field of scientific endeavor; in fact, as I began working more in the area (coming from a background in physics), I was surprised with the norms in the field. As a PhD student way back in 2003, I simply wanted to draw a 3D molecular structure on my operating system of choice (Linux), and be able to save an image for a paper/poster discussing my research.

This proved to be nearly impossible, and in 2005 a group of like-minded researchers got together at a meeting of the American Chemical Society and formed an unorganization: The Blue Obelisk (named after their meeting place in San Diego).

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A scientist calls for open access to research publications

Publishing the open source way

As a child I remember being fascinated by science, and developed an overwhelming urge to learn how everything worked. I loved science fiction, seeing authors explore the very edges of possible futures, extrapolating out the possibly feasible to its very limits. As I grew older and began a degree in Physics, I became even more certain I wanted to be a scientist and had a vision of what real science was all about. I remember the first few months of my PhD work being quite disappointing, learning that papers often lacked the necessary details to reproduce key reactions, or that I didn’t have access to certain papers due to their age or the journal they had been published in.

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